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News & Press: In Memoriam

Robert Judd, 1956-2019

Monday, August 26, 2019   (6 Comments)

Our beloved Executive Director Robert F. Judd, who served the American Musicological Society since 1996, died suddenly on Saturday, August 24. Bob was the heart and soul of the AMS, a man of wisdom and compassion, infinite patience and grace. We will long mourn his loss, long be grateful for all that he gave us.

Please click here for AMS tributes to Bob from Ellen T. Harris, Al Hipkins, and Hannah Judd.

A full obituary is here

Contributions may be made to the American Musicological Society, 20 Cooper Square, Room 225, New York, NY 10003, "Robert F. Judd Fund" (please click here) or to the charity of your choice. The Robert F. Judd Fund will support the activities of the AMS office.

Leave your remembrances of Bob below, and read those of his colleagues and friends.


YouYoung Kang says...
Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2019
It struck a chord of deep grief in me to hear of Bob's death, and that sense of mourning will stay with me for a long time. It's been 26 years since I met Bob (when he and Cristle came to Philadelphia), and it's been a blessing getting to know him a little better over the years. I have always thought of Bob as a very serious person with high principles tempered by patience, generosity, a gentle sense of humor, and solid common sense. He set a wonderful example of the "well-lived life" in his commitment to family life, his calm and masterful running of the AMS, his conscientious fulfilling of organist duties at various churches, and countless caring acts unaccounted for. We all knew to trust him. It is fitting indeed that AMS will be celebrating his life at its annual meeting on All Saints' Day. "For all the saints, who from their labours rest..." I will miss him dearly.
Alexander R. Marrero says...
Posted Sunday, September 1, 2019
I first met Bob Judd at the Annual National Meeting for the AMS in Rochester in November of 2017. After being invited to become a member of the Committee on Cultural Diversity for AMS, I interacted with Bob at the Greater New York Chapter Meeting for AMS in January of 2018 at Columbia University. After being invited to join the Cultural Inclusion Council for the College Music Society in March of 2018, I told Bob about it when I saw him at the GNY - AMS local chapter meeting at New York University in April of 2018. When I gave him the news, he looked me straight in the eye with a charmingly sincere and friendly smile before saying "Keep me posted". My own dad passed away on March 3rd of this year in 2019, so therefore I can imagine how his 3 adult daughters may feel, and I can also imagine how his wife may feel as well. I plan to attend the AMS National Meeting in Boston between November 1st and 3rd. I think Dr. Robert Judd came from a heavenly place before returning there.
J. Peter Burkholder says...
Posted Saturday, August 31, 2019
Bob Judd did a wonderful job as Executive Director for 23 years. He was unfailingly helpful to the officers and committees, helping us figure out how to do our work on behalf of the AMS. He was kind and welcoming to members new and old, encouraging several generations of musicologists. He was always vibrant, positive, and forward-looking, bringing new ideas and the wisdom of many years' experience to every discussion. He made everything run better, from our annual conferences to daily communications, and oversaw countless new initiatives throughout the Society. Most of all, he was always friendly, warm, and engaging, with a puckish smile that delighted me every time I saw him. As a colleague said when I phoned her to break the sad news that he was gone, he was the heartbeat of the AMS. He will live on in the Society and in all of us, in all he has done for us over the years. He helped to make this community of scholars and teachers a genuine community. J. Peter Burkholder
Wendy B. Heller says...
Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Bob has been at the helm of the AMS for most of my academic career. I was a grad student when Alvin died, during Ellen Rosand's presidency as I recall, and ever since then he has been a constant force of goodness, wisdom, and calm. I love the way Bob was always able to deal with some of the more prickly personalities in our field, gently bringing a committee meeting back into focus, diplomatically reminding us about a past practice, while at the same time encouraging us all to think out of the box and try on new ideas. His vision for the society was palpable in countless ways. There was always that moment at the national meeting when I would catch site of Bob and feel as if everything was under control! I know we are all thinking about the kinds of contributions that musicologists can make outside of the traditional tenure-track position, and Bob is the stellar example of how powerful that contribution can be--and of a truly wonderful life. We will miss you, Bob! Wendy Heller
Ruth A. Solie says...
Posted Tuesday, August 27, 2019
It's impossible to exaggerate the relief we felt when Bob Judd took over the helm of the AMS. His calm and competent demeanor was immediately evident and spread healing oil over the turbulent water after our loss of long-term director Alvin Johnson and the subsequent . . . well, not quite panic . . . the board and officers faced in figuring out how to move on. Bob was an exquisite human-relations master, an executive director of utter common sense, and a knowledgeable and talented scholar of music who understood what we are about and gave his utmost to helping us do our work. He will be sorely missed. Ruth Solie
Robert L. Kendrick says...
Posted Monday, August 26, 2019
It's hard to imagine the Society--and early music scholarship--without him, a person of dedication, devotion, and humility. Hearing of our tragic loss, I could only think of a recent live performance that I heard of Nathalie Stutzmann singing Bach's Cantata #82. May all his family and friends have some of the consolation that JSB put into that piece. "Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen..."